ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s refusal to hand over key TTP leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad to Pakistan, and US media reports that the Afghan Taliban prisoners freed by Islamabad as a good-faith effort to promote peace in Afghanistan have returned to the battlefield, have greatly upset Islamabad. These developments have also diminished the chances of the release of Mullah Omar’s former No2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, currently being detained in Pakistan. Well-informed foreign office sources in Islamabad say Pakistani establishment is disappointed over the Karzai administration’s refusal to give Faqir’s custody and the U-turn by the US administration on the issue of the Afghan Taliban leaders who were set free on the request of Washington and Kabul. The News, The Nation.
BARA: A soldier was killed and five others were injured when the explosives seized by security forces went off at the Fort Salop base of Frontier Corps in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency on Monday, a security official said.All the victims were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital. The blast also destroyed five rooms at the camp.Some sources reported that the blast occurred in an explosive-laden vehicle seized by the security forces the other day in a search operation. The sources said the vehicle was parked without being properly checked by the forces, adding that seven persons were injured. The News, The Nation, Daily Times, The Frontier Post.
PESHAWAR: Women activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from Fata staged demonstration on Monday, demanding representation in the parliament. Led by PTI Fata women leader Ayesha Gulalai, several PTI women activists and members of civil society organisations from the tribal region demanded equal representation of tribal women in the parliament. Talking to reporters, Ayesha Gulalai demanded the government to provide equal opportunities to women hailing from Fata in parliament and provincial assemblies. “Tribesmen have rendered sacrifices for the motherland, but still they are facing discriminatory treatment,” she said. Gulalai said a large number of women had lost their male relatives in the violence in Fata. She said women must be taken into confidence in the decision-making. The News.
PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban have mocked Interior Minister Rehman Malik by describing him as a ‘comedian’, with a militant spokesman saying a ‘serious person’ should replace him for any dialogue between the two sides, reported a private TV channel on Monday. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan compared Malik to Pashto Comedian Ismail Shahid and said the group did not take the minister’s statements seriously. “Our central Shura (consultative council) believes that if Rehman Malik keeps on churning out statements about our offer (of talks), it’ll indicate the government is not serious in pursuing peace talks,” Ihsan said talking to a private TV channel. “If the government replaces Rehman Malik with a serious person to deal with the dialogue issue, we will come up with an immediate, positive and civilised response in the best interests of Pakistan and its people,” Ihsan said over phone from an undisclosed location. The Nation.
KHYBER AGENCY: Instead of serving the tribal women folk, the labour room in Agency Headquarters Hospital Landi Kotal has allegedly multiplied miseries of the dwellers of the areas. According to local people, the labour room in the hospital has become a source of generating illicit income for the staff. They demanded of the authorities concerned to take notice of the wrongdoings in the gynecology department. The tribesmen were of the views that Rs.50 is the official fee of the labour room but ironically the on duty nurses in the labour room are fleecing tribal women by taking extra money in the name of fee. The Nation.
KHYBER AGENCY: An explosive device planted by unknown militants was disposed by the forces on Monday here in Tedi bazaar of tehsil Jamrud, sub-division of Khyber, official sources informed. The sources said that noticing a suspected package fitted along a road, the local residents informed the security forces, who rushed to the scene, cordoned off the whole area and defused it. The Nation.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY